The NFL has allowed the military troops presenting the national colors at the Super Bowl to stay and watch the game after the ceremony since 2002. The military plays a large role in most of the Super Bowls, providing color guards, fly-overs, and paratroopers that land on the field during opening ceremonies. But, this year, those troops are being snubbed by the NFL.
My youngest Marine called me this morning. In the course of the conversation he made mention of being part of the Color Guard for the ceremonies at the Super Bowl. He has been part of other Color Guards at other games and has been able to enjoy the entire game after presenting the Colors. HOWEVER, this will not be the case this time. The 12 man/women color guard will be presenting the Colors and then will be escorted out of the stadium and therefore not allowed to see the game. Steven and the 11 others are quite upset about this and have asked that I see if I could contact someone and have that changed.
Read the entire post at The Thunder Run.
I called the Super Bowl Host Committee to inquire about this and was told that it was an NFL decision. The Committee is claiming to have nothing to do with it. But, they provided me with a point of contact at the NFL. After being passed around, I was put in contact with a PR rep, Joanna Hunter, who refused to answer her phone or return my calls. I left several messages explaining who I was and requesting an interview with the league on this decision. I also sent emails. Both avenues were ignored.
This is an embarrassment for the league. The troops have done so much for the League and the League has done a lot for the troops. The problem I have with this isn’t the point that the troops can’t watch the Super Bowl for free. It’s the point that the troops are providing a service during the Super Bowl and getting the shaft for it.
Bruce Springsteen (*cough, hack, wheeze) and the E Street Band is playing at the half-time show. I wonder if they will likewise be escorted off the field after their performance. More likely, the band will enjoy either sideline access or luxurious box seats free of charge.
The military should swiftly pull their support from the NFL and not allow the troops to present the colors if they are going to treated this way. I will personally be boycotting any advertisers of the Super Bowl until they admit their mistake and switch positions immediately.
If I get a response to my inquiries, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, send them your thoughts. The NFL Commissioner is Roger Goodell. His email address is Roger.Goodell2@nfl.net and you can call his office at (212) 450-2000 or (212) 450-2027.